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Apple Acquires "Pandora For Books" Booklamp For $15 Million

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the we-know-why-you're-reading-it dept.

Books 26

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes with news made public Friday that Apple has acquired a little known ebook company called Booklamp, a small Idaho-based ebook startup which is best known for the Book Genome Project. First shown off to the world in 2008, this project was conceived by Booklamp founder and CEO Aaron Stanton as a way of analyzing a book's pacing, dialog, perspective, genre, and other details in order to identify a book's unique DNA. Booklamp has been using the tech to sell various services to publishers, tech companies, and the like, but Booklamps's existing contracts were apparently cancelled earlier this year.

According to one industry insider the deal happened in April, but Apple managed to keep the news under wraps until just last night. No one knows for sure how Apple will use booklamp but there is speculation that Apple could launch an ebook subscription service similar to the week-old Kindle Unlimited, or they could just use Booklamp to drive ebook recommendations in what some are speculating is the world's second largest ebookstore.

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Certainly Amazon never thought of that! (1, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 months ago | (#47539851)

Because nobody out there has "customers who bought X also bought Y and Z" features! (But maybe this one will let Apple take some more market share from Amazon.)

Re:Certainly Amazon never thought of that! (2)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 2 months ago | (#47542315)

You realize this is very different from "people bought X," right?

Stupid "X for Y" phrasing. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539861)

I really hate the "X For Y"-style phrasing, like "Pandora For Books". The "X" part is always some obscure service. Even if it's semi-popular, it's only really known about within the hipster community. And then the "Y" is something that works just fine as it is, without a bunch of hipsters trying to "revolutionize" it.

I don't know what the fuck Pandora is, so how the fuck should I know what a "Pandora For Books" is? How about just fucking saying what the service is using normal words?

Re: Stupid "X for Y" phrasing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541241)

This is like fucking fuck all for fucking fuck with fucking small fucking vocabularies. Hope that fucking helped.

Danger: toad in hat! (2)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 months ago | (#47539903)

Apple is well known to be a front for the harmonic space toads who will prevent us from reading good authors and will fill our heads with vomit green mush to smooth the way for their anal takeover of the planet.

Re:Danger: toad in hat! (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 months ago | (#47540133)

Oy! Rule #1 regarding the harmonic space toads is that we don't talk about the harmonic space toads.

Re:Danger: toad in hat! (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | about 2 months ago | (#47541709)

It would have been more accurate to say it's like the "Music Genome Project" (Pandora is the the commercial application of these efforts), but for books. The idea is to essentially categorize everything by weighted tags.

forever payments (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 months ago | (#47539999)

no thanks, i want to own my content.

Re:forever payments (2)

alvinrod (889928) | about 2 months ago | (#47540083)

Considering that most of the e-books sold (at least from the companies that are or might be selling monthly subscriptions for a buffet style approach) contain DRM, you don't really own it even if you make a lump sum payment either.

Re:forever payments (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 2 months ago | (#47540129)

Considering that most of the e-books sold (at least from the companies that are or might be selling monthly subscriptions for a buffet style approach) contain DRM, you don't really own it even if you make a lump sum payment either.

Stripping DRM from an ebook is a trivial process. For mass-market ebooks like the sort you can get from Amazon, DRM removal is automated in Calibre when you import the book, as long as you've installed the relevant plugin. For scholarly works made available in PDF, cracking the antiquated Adobe Digital Editions DRM is also not especially difficult and, while I've never tried, can probably be automated as well because the inventory of pirate ebook sites grows so large by the day that I doubt it is being done by hand.

You can quibble about legalities, but with the current DRM being so half-ass, you can have a lasting collection of ebooks free of the seller's whim.

Re:forever payments (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 months ago | (#47540579)

You know what i meant.

Re:forever payments (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 months ago | (#47540715)

Well, to each their own.

As always, it depends on a few things. I have no problems renting movies from Netflix and not owning them, but there are some movies I prefer to own. I can imagine the same thing--I've bought some "throw-away" books for airplanes and such and would be fine with the idea of just being able to pull up one to read. But there are some books that I've read that I enjoy and I want to keep and re-read every now and then. So Apple wins both ways--you "rent" the book, read it, decide you like it, and then overpay to get the book from Apple's Store.

Re:forever payments (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 2 months ago | (#47550151)

I used to think I wanted to own everything. Then I moved 20 boxes of books 9 times in 11 years, half of the time not even bothering to unpack. I eventually realized while I've got several hundred books that I value and revisit (good stories, reference, push on my kids when they're old enough, whatever), there's a large majority I'm happy to read once and not again, and also very happy not to have to store/organize/move.

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540057)

Answer is an App..Not halting falling ipad sales!? (1, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 months ago | (#47540253)

I find it astonishing especially considering the clunkyness of the iPad, that it has any book sales at all. It is not good for books(pdf textbooks is a dream and Jobsy pushed a new standard based on fixed sized for obvious lock-in). The iPad mini is a lot better for books, but unlike its big brother is unattractive compared to the opposition (Android on Small tablets...Large Phones and ebooks), and it has nothing in the Phablet form factor.

The iPad has lost momentum already, even though the tablet market continues to grow. IDC's Latest figures http://www.businesswire.com/ne... [businesswire.com] How about you focusing on competing considering content seems to be a massive market as massive mark-ups don't work when they are not hidden in long term expensive contracts.

Really though we(here on slashdot...and the backrooms of Apple) should be talking about DRM free...Open format books, anything else is stupid for the underdog. It is what we want.

Ignorant rant from an Apple hater (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541607)

So you don't like Apple .... and obviously have never use an Apple product in your life.

Fixed size? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541645)

What the fuck are you talking about? And "jobsy"? Truly a pathetic troll and yet inexplicably modded up.

Re:Answer is an App..Not halting falling ipad sale (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47542221)

Pdf works fine in iBooks

Re:Answer is an App..Not halting falling ipad sale (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47542331)

The iPad has lost momentum already

The iPad alone is a bigger business than Facebook and Yahoo and Twitter combined.

Re:Answer is an App..Not halting falling ipad sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47547743)

Presumably the parent was modded troll because the moderator thought it wasn't true.
Not only is it true, it's actually an *understatement*. iPad revenue exceeds the combined revenues of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Tesla, and Groupon. [slate.com]

Re:Answer is an App..Not halting falling ipad sale (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 months ago | (#47558685)

The iPad has lost momentum already, even though the tablet market continues to grow. IDC's Latest figures http://www.businesswire.com/ne... [businesswire.com]

Isn't it odd that Amazon doesn't even show up in that list? Looks like it's time for a Fire Sale. Oh, and drop the DRM already Amazon.

Did anyone ever try booklamp? (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47540905)

I'm dubious on the Pandora style genome concept at least as implemented by Pandora. That being said, I've listened to it and gotten some artists/songs out of it that I'd probably never hear of, so I think there's something to the idea.

My main complaint is that I wish they would give you some kind of control panel for each "station" so that you could fine-tune the recommendations by genome key words, years, etc and not just get their choices. It'd also be nice to be able to just browse the genome database without having to listen to a song.

Anyway, it'd be interesting to see what a book recommendation system like this would look like and how well it would work. I'm also curious if they do some kind of automated analysis of the texts or if its just human-derived stuff.

The "Pandora" concept is just a radio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541619)

... only that instead of an over-the-air, the signal are streamed over cables (web).

Re:Did anyone ever try booklamp? (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 2 months ago | (#47550129)

I've been using Pandora recently and very happy with a lot of new suggestions, too. It's been many times more effective than other sources in pointing me at music I've never heard before but really like.

For fine tuning, an interface might be nice, but just in case you overlooked it, I think the thumbs-up/thumbs-down on individual songs as they play does help with tuning.

It's the can google hear me guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540983)

I remember this from Can Google Hear Me. Good for hime.

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/03/idea-behind-can-google-hear-me.html

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Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541439)

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